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Do Great Danes Like to Cuddle? All You Need to Know

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

great dane

Do Great Danes Like to Cuddle? All You Need to Know

Despite their very large size, many Great Danes do like to cuddle. These canines often think they’re lap dogs, which can lead to some pretty funny situations. They aren’t picky about their relationships with humans, so they often bond closely with just about everyone in their family (and strangers, too).

Of course, there is some variance in personality here. Some dogs are more affectionate than others. How your dog is raised also matters. If your dog is well-socialized, they will likely be more affectionate with their family and strangers. However, dogs that are not socialized or cuddled as puppies probably won’t do so as adults.

While there are some genetic predispositions to these behaviors, how your dog grows up matters substantially. However, if you’re looking for a cuddly dog, you typically can’t go wrong with a Great Dane.


How Affectionate are Great Danes?

Great Danes are often quite affectionate. They’ve been raised to be companion animals for some time. Therefore, they’ve been bred for traits that people typically like to see in companion animals. Usually, these traits include gentleness and affection. The Great Dane typically fits into this category and shows many of these traits.

While this breed was originally bred for hunting purposes, they are rarely utilized for hunting today. They haven’t been used for hunting much since the invention of the firearm when it became dangerous to have dogs hold prey animals in place. Early firearms were much less accurate than other methods, and much more deadly (so the hunters didn’t have to take multiple shots).

All of this added up to the Great Danes becoming much more affectionate. After they were slowly taken out of the hunting game, they became utilized as guard dogs inside the bed chamber of nobility. They were nicknamed “chamber dogs” for this reason. At this point, more affectionate, gentler dogs were chosen for breeding purposes—not just based on the dog’s hunting ability.

Therefore, these dogs have had affection and gentleness bred into them for a long time.

However, socialization and training do have a huge effect on how these dogs act. Therefore, if you want your dog to be affectionate, it’s important to show them a lot of affection early on. They should also be taught to be aware of their size, which is important for dogs of this size. Training is vital, or you may find yourself with an uncontrollable dog.

Great Dane getting and giving love and hugs to its human owner
Image By: Victoria Rak, Shutterstock

Similarly, it’s vital that you consider socializing your dog with others, too. Great Danes are often friendly, but if they are never introduced to strangers, they can become fearful of them. A scared dog can be potentially dangerous (and is often the opposite of affectionate). Therefore, we highly recommend introducing them to strangers and other animals early on and continuing to do so throughout their lives.

Do Great Danes Bond to One Person?

Great Danes aren’t usually one-person dogs. Usually, dogs that are prone to bonding with only one person were bred for guarding purposes. They were supposed to only bond to one person. Great Danes don’t fit into this category, so they aren’t particularly prone to bonding with only one person.

However, any dog can technically bond with one human. It’s absolutely possible, especially if they dog isn’t socialized properly. Dogs that are only around one or two people throughout their puppyhood will only bond closely with those people.

These dogs are often friendly, so socializing them isn’t hard. However, that doesn’t mean that you can skip it. Puppy classes are a great way to get your dog around lots of other people early on, and they help you start some early training.

Beautiful Great Dane outdoors in a meadow
Image Credit: Marie Charouzova, Shutterstock

Why Do Great Danes Sit on You?

Great Danes are just like other cuddly dogs. They like to sit in your lap. However, their size makes this challenging. If you’ve ever seen funny Great Dane pictures on the internet, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

Furthermore, Great Danes don’t seem to be very aware of their size. Therefore, they often try to do things that smaller dogs do, like sit on laps.

You can train a Great Dane not to do this, and this training may be necessary if you have children or the elderly in your home. It can be dangerous for Great Danes to try and sit on them. However, many people find this behavior adorable, and there isn’t necessarily a problem with it if you don’t mind it.


What are the Cuddliest Dogs?

In the past, dogs were bred mostly for practical purposes, such as hunting or guarding. However, today, most breeds are kept as companions. For the most part, most breeds today are bred with these ideas in mind. Dogs are bred for their affection, easy temperament, and ease of training. After all, these are the dogs that are popular today.

However, not all breeds are as affectionate as others. Breeds that were only recently kept as companion animals tend to have lower levels of these factors—unless these traits were needed for their job. For instance, Border Collies are easy to train because they had to be trained for herding purposes. However, they are extremely energetic and smart. Therefore, they can be difficult to control in a companion setting. They need more physical and mental stimulation than the average house provides.

Most of the cuddliest dogs have been kept as companion animals for a while. Most toy dogs fit into this category. Shih Tzus were originally bred for cuddling, for instance. That was their original purpose, so you can imagine that the breed has high levels of affection after hundreds of years of breeding.

Bulldogs were once used for bullfighting. However, that changed a while ago when bullfighting was outlawed in England. Then, the dogs were kept for companion purposes, and any aggression was quickly bred out of them. Today, they are solely companion animals. Therefore, they tend to be pretty affectionate.

Great Danes are similar to Bulldogs. They were originally bred with hunting in mind. However, they weren’t widely used in hunting after firearms were distributed amongst the nobility. Therefore, they have been kept solely as companion animals for hundreds of years. After generations of Great Danes being bred for affection, this breed tends to be extremely affectionate.



Great Danes are one of the most affectionate dog breeds out there, despite their larger size. They tend to love just about everyone and are known for their gentle nature. Therefore, we highly recommend them as companion dogs if you have the room.

While these dogs are often laidback, their larger size means that they aren’t suitable for smaller spaces. Therefore, even if you don’t have to exercise them much, it is still important that they have enough room to lounge and move about. In apartments and smaller homes, this isn’t often possible.

Featured Image Credit: Earl Wilkerson, Shutterstock

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